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21 November 2011 | | | |

Action Time

Interview with Thomas Ouana, from Mali against land grabbing

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The International Peasant Conference taking place in Mali against land grabbing aims to build a concrete action plan to stop this phenomenon, said Thomas Ouana, from the National Union of Mozambican Peasant Farmers (UNAC) in an interview with Real World Radio.

Capacity-building on how land grabbing takes place and the true impacts on rural communities is a challenge for the international peasant movement and NGO allies, academics and students from all over the world.

This is what the member of the National Union of Mozambican Peasant Farmers, which is in turn part of La Via Campesina International, told Real World Radio. One of the aims of the organization at local level is to strengthen the links with members of parliament and political actors fighting against land grabbing, a process that concentrates many hectares for forestation, mining and agrofuels.

"The situation in Mozambique does not differ much from what is happening in other countries, although each region has its own features", said Thomas.

Among other elements, on Friday, the Conference dealt with "the role of AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) related to land grabbing" and a presentation was made on the case of Zimbabwe, with reference to agrarian reform and agroecology.

The activists also analyzed the importance of the advance of the negotiations around the Voluntary Guidelines on land tenure by the Committee on World Food Security and they made reference to the pressure by the World Bank on "Responsible Agricultural Investment".

In Mozambique, the legal safeguard measures that define land as part of the common heritage -victories UNAC was part of by advising with reference to those legal measures - have not been very useful when trying to end land grabbing, regretted the peasant leader.

He also said that after this conference, a concrete action plan against global land grabbing will be necessary, supporting the mobilizations that take place at local level with this end.

In Africa alone, 30 million hectares have been grabbed and in Mozambique land grabbing has reached around 10 million hectares.

Photo: apc-suramerica.net

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